Fall of the Warlock Kings
The strongest of the Vicars of the Outer Ones, servant of an Infernal Outer One, the Great King is a hobgoblin who has ruled his kingdom as first and so far only king for more than four decades. His predecessors in the service of his Outer One were kings of the city of Carnelian, but none successfully expanded their realm beyond the immediate area of the city, except briefly to the city of Chan. It was these two cities that were inherited by the Great King, who set about building a massive army, spending all his treasure on mercanaries, and plundering broadly whatever he captured. His personal charisma made his troops loyal to him, and his willingness to engage in the frontlines of battle proved his bravery. In time, his ferocious Army of the Great King was ready to take major prizes. Under the Great King’s direction, city after city fell, and each of the Vicars or other potentates captured met personally and alone with the King. Each emerged as a willing collaborator of the Great King, though some are rather more loyal than others. He took many wives from the captured cities’ noble families, and treats them all well, when he is with them. After the initial plunder of any city, the Great King himself starts the rebuilding process, and personally oversees the growth of industry and commerce in the new lands he holds. He is known to loathe the city of Viir with a deep and abiding hatred, and has claimed that if he were to capture he would destory the very island on which it stands. A year ago, his unflagging energy seemed to fail, and many suspected at the time, and now seem convinced, that he was in a struggle with his master, the Nameless Fire. The Great King is seldom seen these days, and always appears haggard and worn on the few occasions when he is spotted. Titanic rumblings and echoing voices shake the palace at Carnelian, and sometimes for days the inner doors of the Great King’s chambers are sealed. In his absence, the Great Kingdom has fallen into quiet inactivity, though there are those who seek now to take advantage of the Great King’s weakness. His loyal followers are still many, but they feel as if time is running out to save their lord’s realm.